Tag Archive | "Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami"

Gift of $50 Million to Name UM’s New Health Care Facility

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Gift of $50 Million to Name UM’s New Health Care Facility

The Lennar Foundation Medical Center will deliver breakthrough health care to South Florida starting in 2016.

UM News


When it opens in 2016, the Lennar Foundation Medical Center will deliver premier services of the Miller School of Medicine and the University of Miami Health System.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 23, 2014) — The Lennar Foundation, the charitable arm of The Lennar Corporation, one of the nation’s largest builders of quality homes, has given a lead gift of $50 million to name the UHealth at Coral Gables ambulatory center. A ceremonial groundbreaking event for The Lennar Foundation Medical Center took place Thursday afternoon.

To be located on the University of Miami Coral Gables campus, this 200,000-square-foot outpatient center will provide easy access to UHealth’s leading physicians for surrounding communities as well as UM students, faculty, and staff. It is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2016. Read the full story

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Engineer Enhances Environmental—and University—Resources

Helena Solo-Gabriele

Helena Solo-Gabriele

As a teacher, researcher, role model, and donor, Helena Solo-Gabriele is making a difference in the world. “Since I was an undergraduate here in the 1980s, our University has made huge advances,” says Solo-Gabriele, professor and associate dean for research in the College of Engineering. “While the amount I give each year isn’t large, I know it’s important. As more and more of our faculty, staff, and alumni donate, our University gains important resources.”

The daughter of Cuban-born parents, Solo-Gabriele is a long-time member of the UM “family.”  Her father, Emilio Solo, earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Miami in 1964. “He would bring our family to the UM pool, and it was always a special trip to come to the campus,” she says. Following in her father’s footsteps, she and her husband, Frank Gabriele, III, introduced their two daughters, Christina, now 19, and Elizabeth, 12, to the campus at an early age. Read the full story

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Graphic Designer Shares Her Talents—and Gifts

Ivonne de la Paz

Ivonne de la Paz

Whether designing a course catalog, updating the website, or posting an upcoming event on social media, Ivonne de la Paz, A.B. ’01, enjoys showcasing the School of Architecture. “This is an inspiring place to work,” says the school’s graphics and web publications coordinator, who also contributes to the school’s capital campaign and the University’s annual fund. “I feel fortunate to be able to give back.”

A native of South Florida, de la Paz has always loved art and architecture. She studied architectural history at Miami Dade College, where she earned her associate’s degree in 1999 before transferring to the University of Miami’s College of Arts and Sciences. “I worked full time at the college, and benefited from the University’s tuition remission program,” she says. “Now, my gifts can help other students fulfill their educational dreams.”

With degree in hand, de la Paz went to work at the School of Architecture’s Center for Urban and Community Design in a position funded by a federal grant. She worked closely with faculty in preparing an exhibition and two publications on designing affordable homes. When the grant ended, de la Paz was offered the job of publications coordinator, and jumped at the opportunity.

“I really enjoy being a graphic designer, working on everything from campus maps to faculty publications and flyers for our exhibits,” she says. “Much like an interior designer, creating appealing visual compositions requires thinking about space, color, and what elements to emphasize and/or understate.”

When she’s not designing print and online publications, de la Paz enjoys spending time with her husband, Anthony Calzadilla, their son, Alek, and daughter, Ayla, who was recently accepted into the fine arts program at the New World School of the Arts. She also likes to spend time outdoors, exercising, bicycling, and swimming.

“I am very thankful to the University for giving me so many opportunities to grow, both personally and professionally,” she says. “I can’t imagine a better place to work.”


Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.

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Faculty and Staff Support the U: Community Health Expert Strengthens Hispanic Families, and the University

Guermillo "Willy" Prado

Guillermo “Willy” Prado

Professor Guillermo “Willy” Prado is committed to making South Florida a better place to live. As director of the Division of Prevention Science and Community Health at the Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, Prado has pioneered programs that reduce drug abuse and other health problems among Hispanic youths by strengthening their families. As a generous donor to the University, he also contributes to the education of a new generation of community leaders.

“I’ve given to our University for many years through the annual United Way drive and the Momentum2 campaign,” says Prado, M.S. ’00, Ph.D. ’05, the Leonard M. Miller Professor of Public Health Sciences. He also has contributed to the Master of Public Health Scholarship Fund and José Szapocznik Leadership Fund, which provides scholarships for public health students, and to the Springboard Program, which supports innovative, independent projects by students who are working toward or recently earned a master of public health.

Born in Mexico City, Prado moved to Miami at age 3 and graduated from Coral Gables High School. “My parents worked multiple jobs so that my brother and I could have a better life,” he says. “That inspired me at an early age to give back to our community.”

After earning a bachelor’s degree in math and statistics from the University of Florida, Prado joined the University of Miami in 2000 as a graduate student. Through the years, he has been involved in innovative teaching, research and service projects, and developed the Miller School’s foundation class in prevention science and community health.

Now, Prado is planning a doctoral program in prevention science and community health that would be the first such Ph.D. program offered by a U.S. medical school. “If we receive approval, we hope to admit the first students in the fall of 2015,” he says.

Once the doctoral program is established, Prado’s goal is to provide financial support in the form of scholarships to the aspiring prevention scientists. He also hopes to establish a world class Center of Excellence focusing on improving the health of adolescents.

Nationally known for his research, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prado is a member of the National Hispanic Science Network’s Steering Committee. Last year he chaired the Society for Prevention Research’s 21st Annual Conference and the National Hispanic Science Network’s 14th Annual Conference. The Familias Unidas (United Families) intervention program he developed with Hilda Pantin, professor and executive vice chair of Public Health Sciences, has been so effective in preventing or reducing substance use and other risky behaviors among Hispanic youth, it has been expanded to tackle obesity. Familias Unidas also has drawn international interest, including the recent formation of a collaborative program with Ecuador.

“It has become the ‘gold standard’ for Hispanic families,” says Prado. “We help parents learn from each other in a group setting, and show them how to discuss sensitive topics with their children.”

When Prado isn’t working, he enjoys reading, running, and working out at the UHealth Fitness and Wellness Center. “I wake up every morning and look forward to coming here and making a difference in others’ lives,” he says. “It’s very rewarding to be part of our great University, and I encourage other faculty and staff to give back as well. Go ’Canes!”

Read about other faculty and staff who support the U.





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Breast Cancer Foundation Funds UM Study on Managing Stress

By Annette Gallagher
UM News

The two-year study will focus on immune system functioning following a five-week cognitive behavioral or relaxation training program.

Coral Gables, Fla. (July 7, 2014) – Can psychological intervention help women adapt to the stresses of breast cancer? It appears that a brief, five-week psychological intervention can have beneficial effects for women who are dealing with the stresses of breast cancer diagnosis and surgery. Intervening during the early period after surgery may reduce women’s distress, and providing cognitive or relaxation skills for stress management may help them adapt to treatment.

UM researchers found that women who received cognitive behavioral or relaxation training reported greater improvements in mood than women in a health education control group that also lasted five weeks. Women in the cognitive behavioral group also reported reduced breast cancer-specific distress, as well as improved emotional well-being, while women in the relaxation group reported reduced disruptions in social activities.

The next step in that research, which will be funded by the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation for a two-year period, is to identify the cellular and molecular changes that could explain these effects, according to Michael Antoni, professor in the Department of Psychology at the College of Arts and Sciences and co-leader of the Cancer Prevention Control and Survivorship program at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center. The grant will support Momentum2: The Breakthrough Campaign for the University of Miami.

Antoni’s team hopes to show that the five-week program produces the same changes in stress hormone levels and measures of immune function and inflammatory processes over an extended follow-up period that have been seen in patients who participated in longer programs, typically from 10 weeks to 12 months. Indicators of psychological and physiological well-being may provide a pathway through which these interventions could improve quality of life and health outcomes over the long-term survivorship period, with positive effects seen as much as five years later.

The study, co-led by Bonnie Blomberg, professor of microbiology and immunology at Sylvester, will measure the changes in cortisol levels, check immune responses in cells, and look for decreased inflammation at the RNA level in cells. The new grant research, which began July 1, focuses on the women who show the most elevated levels of distress in the weeks after breast cancer surgery.

“The hope is that these psychoneuroimmunologic (PNI) effects will show us clearly how therapies like relaxation therapy can affect immune system regulation,” Antoni said.  “Does effective stress management reduce cortisol levels, increase immune function, and decrease inflammation early in the course of women’s treatment for breast cancer? We expect that women who show the greatest reductions in distress will also show the greatest reductions in inflammatory signaling and the greatest improvements in immune cell functioning over their first year of treatment.”

“We know stress management is effective in a 10-week program, and women who only attended half the sessions had the same benefits, so we are testing the idea that five weeks might be enough time,” he said. “The 10-week program also helped us focus on the most important things patients need to learn: being able to relax when needed and being able to cognitively process their emotions. We think we can achieve that in less than 10 weeks by using very focused interventions, and that will be more practical in a clinical setting.”

“Drs. Antoni and Blomberg’s project was evaluated and scored by a panel of both researchers and laypersons who are advocates for breast cancer research,” said Russell Silverman, executive director of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation. “It was recommended to our committee with great enthusiasm, and we feel that this work will have a positive impact on the future of breast cancer treatment.”

Annette Gallagher can be reached at 305-284-1121.


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